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January 30, 2020

Litigant’s rape in court: Accused judge evades investigations

Top Story

January 30, 2020

KARACHI: Despite several notices of the Sindh Police Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and lapse of 17 days, Civil Judge Imtiaz Bhutto, accused of raping a litigant, has neither joined the investigation nor appeared for DNA tests.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted by the police on the orders of the Sindh High Court on January 26, headed by DSP Ali Shair Khaskheli, for the investigations. However, on Wednesday, the accused Judge Bhutto approached DIG Hyderabad for transferring the investigation to another district from district Jamshoro while expressing his distrust in JIT of Jamshoro Police.

Though the DIG Hyderabad Naeem Sheikh confirmed receiving the application for the transfer of investigation, he expressed his inability to transfer the case on his own. He said a three-member panel comprising SSP Jamshoro Amjad Shiekh, SSP Hyderabad Adeel Chandio and SP Complaint Cell Hyderabad was constituted to look into the case and submit their report. Their report, the DIG said, would be sent to the Central Police Office (CPO) for final decision.

Earlier on Monday, the police brought the victim Salma Brohi and her associate Nisar Brohi for their DNA tests to the Forensic Laboratory of Liaqat University of Medical Sciences (LUMS) where their samples were obtained. However, till (Wednesday) January 29, the accused Judge Bhutto did not appear for his DNA test. Dr. Rizwana, head of forensic laboratory, confirmed that the accused Judge Bhutto had not appeared as yet. Without the samples of the accused, the tests could not be conducted and finalised. The head of JIT, DSP Ali Shair Khaskheli also told The News that the accused Judge Bhutto did not appear for DNA test despite several reminders.

The Civil Judge, Imtiaz Bhutto, who was accused of raping a litigant Salma Brohi on January 13 was suspended on January 18 by Chief Justice of Sindh High Court on grounds of misconduct. An FIR was registered against him on January 22 and a JIT was constituted to investigate the incident on January 26, following the directions of the Sindh High Court. According to the FIR on January 13, the Sehwan Police arrested the couple Salma and Nisar and produced them before the Civil Judge Imtiaz Bhutto who ordered her to come with him to his chamber adjacent to the courtroom where he raped her. The victim Salma Brohi, who is confined to Darul Aman Larkana, said that she had only come forward against the judge to protect others from this alleged predator.

This reporter tried to approach the accused judge, called at his cell number and also sent him a text message for his version but till the filing of this story, Bhutto had not responded.

This reporter also talked to the defence counsel Advocate Shahid Soomro who had obtained 10-day protective bail for the accused judge, but now even Soomro has refused to further represent his client as according to him he was unable to proceed with his case at the Jamshoro court.

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